Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dance Fever

One of the nice things about having been here over a year is that now, rather than expending a lot of effort describing the various rituals and festivals and recurring bits of lunacy here, I can just say, "That Indian dancing festival I talked about last year is here again." Same shit, different year. The only major change is that we now live a couple blocks closer, and have the this rooftop view of the procession.

Of course, after a year of learning the history of both Querétaro and Mexico, I'm more confused by this thing than ever. Supposedly it commemorates the conversion of the local Indians to Christianity, but that happened in July, so why have the festival now? Also, in last years posts, I refered to the Indians as Otomi, which most of the Indians here are, but most of these guys - at least the ones with the most bitchin' headdresses - claim to be Chichimecas, who I thought were practically extinct. There are also groups of Apaches and Comanches - the more the merrier, I say, but what are they doing here in central Mexico? Some bands of Indians stage mock swordfights with soldiers, whose costumes range from French Foreign Legion to US Cavalry to the Tin Soldiers from the Nutcracker Suite - everyone but the Spanish Conquistadors, oddly enough. Interspersed through it all are people in grotesque Halloween costumes because - oh, who the fuck knows? The bottom line is that hundreds of war-whooping Indians are beating drums outside my door 12 hours a day, and it's starting to feel like the final battle scene in Zulu.

Later today, at the climax of the festival, hundreds of people will literally crawl to the church on their hands and knees imploring God to grant them something or other. This is the same God who recently revealed himself to be too weak, too callous or too self-important to save a dying little kitten so, y'know, good luck with that. Crawling a couple miles though the city streets is at least a good way to find some spare change.

All the music and the fireworks should come to and end this afternoon, just in time for the music and fireworks marking Independence Day to begin.

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